Louis Armstrong The king of jazz

In August 4th, 1901, Louis Armstrong was born in Storyville, New Orleans, Louisiana. Storyville was a dangerous place, (it was so dangerous it was nicknamed The battlefield) people would usually have weapons and segregation made being a African American hard. His dad left him and the rest of his family a few days after he was born because of work and his mom usually had worked as a maid so Louis usually lived with his grandma, Josephine who was very strict. At 7 years old he started working for a family called the Karnofskys, he collected scraps for them. The Karnofskys encouraged him to sing so he started singing with friends on the streets but when he went out to sing his grandma would stop him to protect him. When he was 11 got put in a all colored boy house where he learned how to play cornet (which is kind of like a trumpet) and loved playing it.
When he was 12 years old his dad took him out of the the home and knew he wanted to start a music career. So usually he would do work or chores and at night he would go and play at a honky tonk (which is a cheap dance hall) with a trio and the boss of the honky tonk noticed him and hired him. So he would play there to entertain people. As he worked at the honky tonk he kept getting better and better, people started noticing him and then the best jazz player in town Joe Oliver noticed him and became his mentor. Joe would help him and teach him more and more, joe even gave him a cornet. When WW1 started there was a lot of commotion in Storyville and the government had to close it down, because of that joe had to move to Chicago and surprisingly joe said Louis could take his spot in his band owned by somebody named Kid Ory.
Louis got married to a girl named Daisy Parker, they ended up getting their own place to live in New Orleans.At that time he wrote one of early hits ‘I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate’ He sold the rights for the song for $50 to 2 men named Clarence William and Armand Piron, they made a lot and money because it was so popular. Him and the band got noticed by somebody who owns a steamboat and got them to perform there every now and then (at that time people would usually have entertainment on boats.)Around that time people weren't use to having an African american orchestras, they would usually make mean comments but when they heard them, they were pleased. In 1921 he got asked to move to NY but he wasn't ready.But joe Oliver still had remembered Louis so joe invited Louis to join him in Chicago, Louis decided to join him in Chicago in 1922. When Louis got to Chicago he waited and waited but joe wasn't there so he started to walk to his house. He finally got there and decided to join joe’s creole band. In 1924 Louis divorced his wife daisy and married a piano player in the band named lil harder. The creole band was getting better and better and people are having more and more interest. And Louis himself have played with famous singers like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey. In 1926 Louis was known worldwide and known as the KING OF JAZZ. And one time when he was singing he dropped his sheet music to read off of so he made something now known as Scat, Louis didn't know what to do so he started saying silly words, and the crowd liked it. Then Mayann Louis’s mom was dying she visited him and died in his house. He wanted to make the best funeral for him and he said “ Her funeral in Chicago is probably the only time I ever cried. But that didn't stop him from making music. He was having some trouble with money so he made a book called Louis Armstrong's 50 Hot Choruses for Cornet. With his money he got from his sales, he got a car and drove to Niagara Falls and around New York . After that, he decided he would start his own band, but he didn't want to be the manager so he got someone name Tommy Rockwell to be the manager. But Tommy thought that Louis should be a solo artist, he said that “ he was such a great musician, he didn't need a band.”, Tommy didn't like that he was in a band. Tommy booked Louis and the band to play at at a show called Hot Chocolate in the city Harlem, it was a success, the music was made by Fats Waller (yes that was his real name). The band was so popular they started doing tours and Louis needed up going to Hollywood for a year, appearing on the radio and even inside some films. In those films he got to show off his singing and playing. In 1931 he returned to Chicago, and he divorced with Lil. He also found a new band manager named Johnny Collins and the band started driving south. It was very hard because of segregation, the band would get insults. But when he visited home people were treating him like a hero, they were cheering and yelling, they were parading around playing brass instruments. And when he played at a concert there was so many people. And in a poor town in Baltimore people needed coal to warm their houses so Louis brought over 2000 pounds of coal to his concert. Then he went to England and played a few concerts and went back to U.S.. But while he was playing his lip got very sore, so he took a little break and went on vacation, he went to Paris, France. And Louis also fired Collins because he wasn't paying his bills. And ever since he left New Orleans at the start he always kept a typewriter and wrote about his life and published it it was named The Swing Of Music. In 1942 he got married again to Lucille Wilson, they ended up living together in Queens in a house. Im 1945 WW2 ended and also the popularity of big bands did too. So Louis made a small band. Then in 1949 he got a picture on Time Magazine and was called the King Of Jazz. 1956 him and Lucille went to Africa and performed in a country called Ghana, more than a hundred thousand attended. Through the 1950s and 60s he kept recording music and also kept touring Africa he went to countries like Kenya and Zimbabwe. In 1967 he wrote his hit song What a Wonderful World. But in 1968 he was had a heart attack and he was okay, but he was still having some problems. Also his manager Joe also died. And finally in 1971 Louis died quietly in his sleep.

Credits:

Created with images by ky_olsen - "Louis Armstrong, Carnegie Hall, New York, N.Y., ca. Apr. 1947"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.